Just Floating Along. Janet goes “swimming”. #TSJ

What an exciting day! I knew today had potential and I couldn’t be more happy with how Janet was from start to finish. It wasn’t all ups but there were enough of them to make this a stellar day and judging by the big grin on Janet’s face as I said goodnight she is satisfied with what she did too.

I arrived in time to get her ready to go to KGH Rehab for her session in the pool. She was waiting for me in the living room with a big smile and I could sense she was a little nervous about the swimming thing. Excited but nervous. She took a while on the toilet before we left so instead of being all pool ready underneath her clothes we would have to get changed there. I should have expected the next delays as the hallway to the pool goes right by the rehab gym so Moira and Rob both came running over as soon as they saw Janet and the reunion was on. Janet kept saying she didn’t remember any of the area or the hospital as we approached but as soon as she saw Moira her face lit right up as it did for Rob. I think that gave her a nice confidence boost for the task at hand and she didn’t seem nervous about the pool at all after that. Moira guided us to a bathroom we could change in but it was locked then I remembered one in the other hall so we went there and donned the swimming attire. There are change rooms in the pool area but the only private one was in use and pool guy, Jim, was nowhere to be seen. He saw fit to chastise me for using the washroom we did and told me to make sure we stay in the pool area to change afterwards. He seemed nice when we talked on the phone but after encountering him in person today I think he’s a bored man that needs to find something more challenging to do. I transferred Janet into a waterproof wheelchair and we walked out onto what would become the water. There’s a biblical joke there somewhere. Anyone? Jim gave us a small inner tube so Janet could float and then lowered the floor. Janet started floating long before the floor maxed out and it was very exciting to see. She was smiling and laughing at the sensation and was very relaxed and “at home” the whole time.

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I only knew what Tez wanted me to do with Janet as far as exercise goes and Jim just said “float around, get used to it”. Janet was used to it in two minutes so I had her try kicking her legs. That was tough at first especially as her right leg was drifting over her left one which was bent back at the knee quite dramatically. The more time we spent in the pool the more Janet loosened up and for the last ten minutes she was kicking and propelling herself through the water. She instinctively started using her left arm to paddle as well and looked totally at home doing it. I tried standing with Janet a few times. Each attempt was better than the previous and involved her touching bottom with her left foot and me guiding her right to where I could step on both feet and hold her down. I then straightened her lower back slowly and could feel her hips and pelvis move in a way I’d not noticed before. Everything felt more relaxed and Janet said she felt good, no pain.

Our thirty minute session was over super fast and Jim showed us the correct change room to use. Janet was cold as soon as we were out of the pool so good thing I brought her large beach towel to wrap her in. On our way out we went through rehab and stopped at the nurses station where a gaggle of nurses marveled at how good Janet looks. One nurse who worked with Janet on 4b actually started crying when Janet smiled and loudly said hi to her. Awesome moment.

The pool experience deserved a reward and Janet agreed ” it would be nice” to go out for lunch so we went to Original Joe’s and had a very civilized long lunch date. That cut into Janet’s nap time which she protested all the way into bed but was snoring three minutes later. Unfortunately I had to wake her forty five minutes after so we could get to her doctor’s appointment. We made some minor changes to the Dilantin dosage, capsule form instead of liquid, and she has sent a referral into the neurologist. The constipation issue has obviously been resolved but I asked her to instruct us as to how much fluid Janet should be drinking in a day. She pointedly said to Janet, one cup before and after each meal at least. Try to get two more in there somewhere but at least those. I hope hearing it from her doctor will help motivate Janet a little more.

It was just us for dinner by the time we got back to Connect but Garrett and Bob hung around to chat a little then Jess and her little niece came by to encourage Janet to come up to ladies night. Bad timing today but hopefully next week. Janet happily put her laundry away and helped me make her bed after watching a little March Madness. She very contentedly lay down in bed a little earlier than the last few nights after a busy and fun day. This was the Janet of three weeks ago that had Mary Lou all excited about her speech potential. I think as long as the Dilantin levels don’t rise Janet has a good chance of really advancing from here. Praying for a good nights rest and an equally bright and energetic day tomorrow.

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